26 exciting stats about the GameFi industry from 2022 26 exciting stats about the GameFi industry from 2022

26 exciting stats about the GameFi industry from 2022

While Axie Infinity and The Sandbox made the most headlines, several projects unknown to the general public got all the players.

26 exciting stats about the GameFi industry from 2022

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

A lot happened in GameFi last year.

While Axie Infinity and The Sandbox made the most headlines, several projects unknown to the general public got all the players.

While BNB and the Ethereum Foundation became the most influential organizations in the blockchain industry, the BNB and Ethereum ecosystems hardly attracted the best or most active games.

Even as dozens of popular titles collapsed into the death spiral and hundreds failed to attract even a small number of players, GameFi received more investment from VCs than any other category in the blockchain industry.

It’s a lot to wrap one’s head around. How can we understand 2022 to prepare ourselves for next year?

Instead of telling you what to think, we’ve put together the most exciting stats related to the GameFi industry, so you can look into projects, chains and funds and draw conclusions from the data.

A Note about GameFi Metrics & Indicators

We use a handful of metrics and statistics to assess blockchain games, namely the number of active users, the total number of users, the amount volume, and the number of transactions.

However, these metrics are not cohesive, meaning a game or chain that performs strongly from one indicator is not guaranteed to lead in other indicators. For example, over the year, Axie Infinity had the most volume, Splinterlands had the most active users, STEPN had the total users, and DeFi Kingdoms had the most transactions.

No one indicator shows a blockchain game is “winning” or leading the pack—each gives insight into a particular aspect that, together with other indicators, can help analysts build a holistic picture.

To learn how to use data analysis to make better GameFi assessments and investment decisions, see these articles.

7 Stats about the GameFi Industry

1. The total market cap of all GameFi tokens reached its peak of $25 billion on April 1st.

This was $11B shy of the industry’s ATH of $36B in November 2021. Footprint Analytics combines the market cap of tokens used as governance tokens and in-game currencies for GameFi projects to track this metric.

Reference: GameFi Token MarketCap (Token only, excluding gaming NFT)

2. Developers launched 717 new blockchain games in 2022

They launched about the same number in 2021. In total, there are 2,171 GameFi protocols with transactions on the blockchain (only a small percentage of these are active.)

Reference: Number of GameFi Protocols by Chain

3. Only 14.5% percent of GameFi titles got more than 1,000 users

The vast majority of games fail to take off. Even out of the games that managed to gain a sizable number of players, very few were able to sustain regular, healthy activity and profitability for over several months.

Reference: GameFi Dashboard

4. GameFi volume reached its 2022 peak on the week of January 2 – 8, with $916.5M flowing through protocols

Footprint Analytics defines volume as money that enters a protocol.

Reference: GameFi Volume by Week

5.GameFi transactions reached their peak the week of July 17 – 23, with 184.5K transactions

As evident from this fact, the increased volume does not necessarily correlate with increased activity since transactions can also have a bearish sentiment (i.e., selling and outflows.)

Reference: GameFi Transactions by Week 

6. The largest monthly drop in volume happened from April to May, when GameFi volume declined by about 62%

What happened around this time? Terra Luna collapsed in the first half of May, wiping out an estimated $60B. The number of transactions, however, increased by 13.5% MoM, echoing the point below Stat #7.

Reference: GameFi Volume by Month 

7. The biggest MoM increase in volume was from July to August when volume increased by 28%

In Footprint’s August GameFi report, we proposed 3 possible explanations: anticipation for The Merge, the beginning of less aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve, and a dead cat bouncing on the way to lower lows.

Reference: GameFi Volume by Month

7 Stats about Blockchain Games

1. As of Dec. 25, there were 62 active GameFi projects and 1,478 inactive ones.

Reference: Active/Inactive Games

2. STEPN got more total users than any other game last year, with 1.8M

STEPN made headlines last spring as it pioneered the Move-to-Earn model. The mobile game lets players earn tokens on their NFT sneakers as they walk, jog or run.

Reference: GameFi Dashboard

3. Splinterlands and Alien Worlds had the most time atop the leaderboard for active users, each staying there for 6 out of 12 months

Splinterlands had the highest number of active users in January, February, March, April, May and September. Alien Worlds had the highest number of active users in June, July, August, October, November and December.

Reference: Top 10 Games Ranking by Players 

4. Farmers World was a solid third in terms of active users, having the third-highest number of active users for all 12 months of the year

Farmers World is a farming NFT game that is the second most popular title on the WAX chain after Alien Worlds. Players develop farmland and can trade in-game NFTs in the marketplace.

Reference: Top 10 Games Ranking by Players 

5. Cryptokitties had the total users out of all games on Ethereum, with 112.6k total users

Despite being the largest ecosystem in crypto by market cap, Ethereum was not a major player in the GameFi industry in 2022, restricted by its congestion and gas fees.

Reference: GameFi Dashboard

6. The Sandbox had the largest injection of cash in any given month, gaining roughly $504M in volume in February

At the end of January, The Sandbox announced a partnership with Snoop Dogg and Warner Music. The token price shot up 40% after the announcement.

Reference: Top Volume Games in 2022

7. Out of all major titles, the game with the best new user average retention rate at the height of the market last January was MOBOX, which retained 56% of players one month after they joined

“Major title” is somewhat subjective in this stat, but it refers to games consistently in the top-10 throughout the year for a number of users.

Reference: Top Weekly Retention GameFi Projects in 2022

7 Stats about GameFi Chains

1. Wax was the most active chain for GameFi in 2022, with 351K active users and a Daily Active User Ratio of 57%

For reference, the next most active was Hive, with 360K active users but a DAU ratio of 98%. Note that Splinterlands accounts for 99% of transactions and users on Hive.

Reference: GameFi Users Chain Comparison

2.Wax held the largest market share of gamers with 40.47% followed by Hive with 20.86%

Wax is more diversified than Hive. Alien Worlds accounts for about 66.99% of Wax’s users, and Farmers World accounts for 19.67%. The remainder is fragmented among a dozen or so titles.

Reference: Number of GameFi Users : Tree Map

3.Whereas 63 blockchain games deployed on 2 or 3 chains in 2021, there were 149 that chose to go multichain in 2022

GameFi projects are increasingly going multi-chain to expand their user bases and mitigate risk. Some games even launched their chains, like DeFi Kingdoms, which went from being entirely on Harmony to creating its AVAX-based DFK Chain.

Reference: Number of GameFi Protocols Deployed on Multichain

4. By the number of GameFi protocols, BNB was the chain of choice for developers, having 748 projects on it in total by the end of the year

BNB is known for its low gas fees and ease of launching protocols, leading to products of varying quality on the chain.

Reference: GameFi Protocols by Chain

5. 87 new GameFi protocols were launched in January, more than in any other month, and most of these—57—were launched on BNB

The number is still lower than the number of projects launched in November or December 2021. By January, the market had already entered its downturn.

Reference: 2022: Chains by number of new projects

6. By the end of the year, BNB Chain had the largest number of active projects at 226

Polygon is an L2 EVM chain that has shown constant growth and strong technical performance in the last year. The game with the most users on the chain is Benji Bananas.

Reference: Monthly Active Games by Chain

7. Solana went from having only 2 GameFi protocols at the beginning of the year to 20 by the end.

Particularly, Solana has become the go-to chain for Move-to-Earn projects. The 2 largest GameFi protocols on the chain are STEPN and Walken—the two largest M2E projects.

Reference: Monthly Active Games by Chain

5 Stats about GameFi Investment & Fundraising

1. Epic Games received the largest funding round, $2B from Sony and Kirkbi, to build its metaverse project

Epic Games is the studio behind Fortnite and the speculation is that it will build out a Lego-themed metaverse shortly.

Reference: GameFi Project Financing amount and Financing Times in 2022

2. Animoca Brands raised $434M in two rounds and disbursed fundraising in 61 rounds, making it one of the largest recipients of funding and the largest investor in GameFi

Animoca Brands, the company behind The Sandbox, has positioned itself a kingmaker in the GameFi space with investments in Axie Infinity, OpenSea and CryptoKitties. Its other major projects include Phantom Galaxies and Benji Bananas.

Reference: Number of GameFi Projects by Investor

3. There were only four Series B rounds and two Series C rounds closed in 2022 in GameFi

This is expected for a nascent industry like GameFi.

Reference: GameFi Investment List 2022

4. Gaming projects received 16% of blockchain industry investments, more than any other kind

It should be noted that metaverse projects, which often overlaps with GameFi, came second with 7.79% of total blockchain funding.

Reference: Funding-Number of Investment by Category (2022)

5. Total investment in gaming increased by 84% from 2021 to 2022

Even while the GameFi category fared better than others like DeFi and CeFi, 2022 was a tough year for the entire blockchain space.

Reference: GameFi Investment Trend

This piece is contributed by Footprint Analytics community in Dec. 2022

Data source: Footprint Analytics – Stats about the GameFi industry in 2022

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Posted In: Analysis, Gaming, Web3